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Egypt militants behind Cairo blast name new leader

The group is known as Ajnad Misr, or “Egypt’s Soldiers”

Published: Updated:

The Egyptian militant group behind a deadly Cairo bombing earlier this week has appointed a new leader after his predecessor was killed in a police shootout, while a separate group operating in the Sinai Peninsula claimed the killing of two police officers.

The group known as Ajnad Misr, or “Egypt’s Soldiers,” said on its Twitter account late Thursday that Izzeddin al-Masri has succeeded Hammam Mohamed Attia, who was killed Sunday, just hours before a bomb on a bridge in central Cairo killed a policeman and wounded at least two passers-by. The group also pledged to continue its jihad, or holy war.

Ajnad Misr has carried out several attacks on security forces, especially after the 2013 military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammad Mursi. Militant groups say they are avenging a security crackdown on Islamists, while authorities blame Mursi’s supporters for the violence.

Most of the deadliest attacks have been claimed by a Sinai-based group previously known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis. The organization pledged allegiance to ISIS last year and now refers to itself as the Sinai Province of the organization’s self-styled caliphate.

The ISIS affiliate late Thursday claimed responsibility for the killing of two police officers in the restive northern Sinai Peninsula the day before.

Security officials said the two officers were killed when their military vehicle hit a roadside bomb outside the provincial capital, el-Arish.

The Sinai Province said in a statement posted late Thursday on its Twitter account that the attack was a “prompt retaliation for the random shelling by the renegade army of Muslims.” It said the shelling on Wednesday killed 13 civilians.

Military officials say a mortar struck a residential area south of Sheikh Zweid, a town in northern Sinai, on Wednesday, hitting a house and killing nine of its residents. In a separate incident, a missile landed on a house in another village, killing two civilians, according to the officials.